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Traditional Music in Belfast

Belfast’s vibrant pub culture thrives on live and traditional music. The birth place of musicians like Ruby Murray, Van Morrison and The Undertones, you can explore Belfast's broad musical tradition. You’ll find live music in venues across Belfast every night of the week, spanning many different styles, sounds and genres. See our suggestions for a great night’s craic in the city.

An Chultúrlann

In the heart of Belfast’s Gaeltacht Quarter, An Chultúrlann has three floors, containing space for artistic and theatrical expression, a café, a tourist information office, book and gift shop - enjoy the exhibitions, take part in a workshop, hear a traditional Irish music session, or enjoy a meal. Music every Saturday 12.30pm – 2.30pm. Read more >>

The Dirty Onion

The Dirty Onion is said to be Belfast's oldest building with real Irish music & craic 7 nights a week. A former spirit warehouse, inside the low ceilings supported by exposed wooden beams and original brick walls throughout nod to the past. An Droichead delivers a varied music programme in the outlet seven nights a week. From open workshops in Bodhrán on Tuesdays, to live bluegrass on Thursdays – there is something for participators and spectators alike every night in The Dirty Onion. Read more >>

Fibber Magee's

Steeped in Irish tradition and packed to the rafters with little bits of history, Fibber Magee’s is the genuine article. Pull up a stool by the open fire and enjoy tunes of traditional musicians, every night of the week, in this snug bar at the back of Robinsons. Read more >>

The Garrick

The Garrick is a much loved traditional pub in the city centre established in 1870, complete with open fire. With music 4 nights a week the traditional sessions on a Friday from 5pm are a highlight.  Read more >>

The John Hewitt

The John Hewitt has become a popular venue for quality, live music with a close relationship with the arts in Belfast. The bar being very much traditional in style lent itself to traditional music sessions almost without planning. And from there its name was established as a venue for various styles of good, live music. The full house sign is seen regularly for gigs as diverse as Jazz, Ulster Scots Folk or Cajun and an open mic night on Mondays. Read more >>

Lavery’s Bar

Lavery's has always been home to the more musically and artistically minded. It's Belfast's bohemian bar and offers an unique blend of people, atmosphere and entertainment. There are various nights dedicated to numerous styles of real music with free admission every night and adjoining Beer Garden. Read more >>

Sunflower Public House

Visit the Sunflower for Gypsy swing on a Thursday and Trad sessions on a Sunday. Hearty bowls of stew are served on Fridays and Saturdays with fresh wheaten bread, which go hand-in-hand with pints of locally brewed ale from Hilden. Sunflower is a simple corner pub, it is free of gimmicks or themes, and it is one of the few remaining. It is instantly recognisable by the security cage on its front door, a relic from 1980’s Belfast. Read more >>

Kelly's Cellars

Kelly's has a rich musical heritage, and Irish musicians from all over Ireland and beyond often call in for a few tunes in a relaxed atmosphere. You'll find traditional music sessions at Kelly's Cellars on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday from 8.30pm and Saturday from 4.30pm. Please note, session times are subject to change. Read more >>

Fountain Tavern

Established on the site of the former Fountain Street National School, the Fountain Tavern was severely damaged during the blitz of 1941 and was demolished and rebuilt. Now a traditional pub with Tudor design, it has a warm and friendly atmosphere, serving premium beers, wines and spirits and fresh, locally sourced food. Here you’ll also find live music at the weekends, with traditional session musicians and folk singers on Fridays, from 9pm. Read more >>